European identity and immigration
Vladimir Rukavishnikov: The Russian Power
The evolution of Russian power compared with the US during the 19th and 20th centuries based on the analysis of scores of the Composite Index of National Capabilities (CINC) is presented. A scrutiny of CINC components’ trends reveals that contemporary Russia is far weaker than this country was before the collapse of the USSR and even in 1970s when the Russian CINC was higher than the American one. At the same time the limitation of this measure is disclosed, and therefore author discusses an issue of global competitiveness focusing again on Russia’s position in global economic competition. All in all this paper tests the relationship between Russian power and competitiveness and takes a brief look on Putin’s political goals and tasks to be achieved in the coming future.
George Schöpflin: Russia’s Reinvented Empire: The combination of energy power and political ambition in Moscow
Russia is clearly not a democracy; Putin’s rule is evidently consensual as he enjoys the overwhelming support of the population. The political system can, therefore be called a consensual authoritarian system, something that many theorists of democracy find perplexing, because their default assumption – tested to its limits in Iraq – is that everyone wants democracy. The key features of Russia’s domestic system, is that it is ruled by a rent-seeking elite, it relies on heavy doses of xenophobia and Russian nationalism coupled with support from eastern Orthodoxy. Russia’s strategic objective in the ”near abroad” is the reassertion of power over the former republics through the control of energy supplies and the local delivery network. a neo-imperial Russia is likely to be an awkward entity in global affairs. USA will pay only as much attention to the Washington consensus as suits it, and will be ill-disposed to western concerns relating to democracy and human rights in Russia.
Miklós Szabó: In Defense of Dictatorship.
During and after political transition in Central and Eastern Europe different terms served to label the former (socialist or communist) régime. One of the most widespread among these terms is dictatorship. Our claim is that it is both improper and misleading to use this term when designating post-war political systems of the region. ‘Dictatorship’ takes its origin in Mediterranean antiquity. As an institution of Roman republic it served to handle extraordinary circumstances, threatening the existence of the republic. Being an institution of law it used to be restricted in time and in task and justified by its aim. The article argues that ‘dictatorship’ still preserves the core of its original meaning. In order to fortify this claim we use the example of Pinochet’s dictatorship. The conclusion is that we should take apart different names of different types of autocratic political systems and, doing so, give ‘dictatorship’ its due.
Konstantinos J. Papadoulis: European Union Governance: Institutional Engineering and Comprehensive Reform
The EU has combined a belief in institutional engineering with the experience that comprehensive reform is difficult to achieve. A simple model of institutional engineering, assuming predetermined political will, understanding and power, is not likely to capture processes of comprehensive reform in complex and dynamic political orders like the EU. The major claim includes the power politics relationships between and balance among institutions. The basic principles and rules for constituting, distributing, controlling and legitimizing power are involved. Still the institutional approach used in this article suggests that there are several options for deliberate intervention in existing structures and processes. EU reformers may both reduce the need for reform and make reform more feasible by improving ordinary processes of learning and adaptation. Somewhat paradoxically, the need for comprehensive reform may also be brought down by strengthening reform capabilities. A precondition for such a development is that reform is understood as a chance for interpretation and public policy-making as much as decision-taking.
Gréta Czene: Needs and Lacks: The Energy Policy of the European Union
The problem complex of the security of energy supply both in the whole and in the member states of the European Union has been emphasized recently. Arguments articulated in the post-Soviet Region – which culminated over the determination of the price of gas transported from Russia – not only appeared as a political question to the countries west from the post-Soviet Region but also pointed at one of the weak points of the Union by the stop of the gas import and that is energy policy. This study gives an outline of the achievements of European integration in this respect and of the energy sources of the E.U.’s disposal and of the Union’s dependence on exports. Consequently it shows those steps of the European Community of the past few years which were aimed to remedy the discovered deficiencies and finally states the following: The European Union must create a coherent, expedient energy policy on its community level.
Márta Pankucsi: The Socio-cultural Accomplishment of Democracy
The changing of the political system could not solve the socio-cultural conditions of democracy. What prevent social democracy from effective functioning after the political transition is distrust, loneliness and human behaviour based on them, which had developed during the years of totalitarianism. Lack of social connections, partnership and appreciation, isolation, uncertainty in self-importance and through this in self-identity becomes the worst danger threatening the quality of life. The physical characteristics of self-destruction, addiction to alcohol, drugs or nicotine, suicide or crime, the direct or indirect attacks on the lives or dignity of others are all reflections of social anomies, the indicators of unsettled norms and values, those of the loss of common roots. Knowledge, information, cultural and social capital have to be treated as resources of competitiveness. Horizontal network connections based on confidence have to be broadened and strengthened. The local, national, Central European and European identity has to be accepted and strengthened.
Virág Havasi: Do values have an effect on economy?- The Relationship between Values and Economy
In this essay I will examine the connections between economy and culture, in a strict sense, economy and values. First I will say a few words about values and value systems. Then I evoke the thoughts of K. Marx, M. Weber and R. Inglehart about the relation of the two spheres. Marx believed that economy determines culture; Weber thought the opposite of that; and Inglehart made a compromise between the two theories. At the end of this part I will develop my own views on this topic with an outlook onto the field of politics. In the last part the chapter examines the question of values and economy in another theoretical frame, which is the “Luhmannian” system theory mixed with the life world of Habermas.
Dávid Furmann: The Virtual Central Europe: Inter-war Discussions on a Central European Identity in Hungary
The chapter first overview the history of the periodical and the circumstances of its establishment; second, he look for those ideas which made quarterly “Apollo” an attractive forum of quite a wide range of proponents of (sometimes radically) different tendencies and ideologies. The author fulfill the latter both by choosing key topics for demonstrating common elements of different thinkers, and by revealing those key concepts which might have been attractive for these authors. Finally he tries to reconstruct from all of these the Apolloean image of Central Europe. It concludes from this whole chapter that all of these elements contributed to the openness of the Apollo to a certain extent, while stressing that the issue of Central Europe and the social views of the periodical played the crucial role in the processes.
N. Szabó József: The Place of France in Hungarian Cultural Diplomacy (1945-1948)
The change of the political system in 1989, naturally, opened up possibilities formerly unheard of in the cultural connections of the two nations. Despite the fact that the French politics were basically hostile and unfriendly to Hungary, cultural relations did not reduce to a level “expected” after the “Trianon Peace Dictatum”. It was not only explained by the vast reserves of French culture that were able to counterbalance the effects of negative politics, but also because the Hungarian political leadership regarded and treated culture as a strategic issue. The change of the political system in 1989, naturally, opened up possibilities formerly unheard of in the cultural connections of the two nations.
Zsuzsanna Török: Empowerment, Identity Building and Ethnic Relations. A case study of Hungarian Gypsies
The paper examines the constantly constructed and contested identity building processes of a Romani/Gypsy community through a case study from Hungary. There are two types of discourses regarding the “correct way of behaving” on the level of the larger society. One could be called as “enlightened” the other as “romanticized”. The chapter is going to use the case of a small Hungarian village, Koczka, to show how the Romani/Gypsy identity is constantly constructed and contested by the members of a community. It describes the flexible nature of identity by showing how differently a community can understand “gypsyness” through differently chosen ethnic